Sunday, August 26, 2012

"Morning Shadows"

Pastel on Wallis, 16x12

Occasionally my wife and I have breakfast in a little restaurant near our house, and afterwards we like to walk on the beach before we start the day. One morning last week, we came to this scene of the blazing sun rising above the low clouds casting brilliant shadows of the old fences on the sand. There was no wind, and the calm surf lay sparkling to the horizon. The sharp sunlight seemed to draw me past the shadows to the beach ahead. I have tried to capture that atmosphere and experience with this picture.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

After the Easel

Sunset from yesterday over the central Texas prairie - no particular importance to what I want to say, but I like the picture.

What happens after the easel?

I would like to see an article or a series of articles on the mechanics of what to do after completing a painting with pastels – when the painting leaves the easel

No one I know has someone waiting to take the finished picture to a professional photographer and then to a framer who will than whisk the famed piece to a gallery where it will stay for a week or two before it ends up on the wall of a collector’s home or office. Most of these tasks are the work of the artist, and they are just as important to the process of selling our paintings as creating them in the first place.

Here is a list of some of the things that I have to face and would like all the information I can get:

• Mats and matting, importance of acid free, acid neutral, etc.

• What to do if one cuts their own mats

• Framing without mats and the advantages, disadvantages

• Frame considerations for unmatted pictures

• Glass types and glazing considerations

• Kinds of frames and frame terms such as “plein air,” rabbit, etc.

• Consideration in selecting a frame for the best presentation of a particular picture

• Differences of framing for a show as compared to a gallery

• Photographing one’s work

• Creating an accurate and usable catalog of completed pictures and making it work for identifying and tracking one’s paintings

• Accounting of expenses and revenue for tax purposes

• Keeping accurate records of expenses and sales and being prepared for tax accounting

• What to do with paintings that aren’t framed – storing finished paintings when framing them is not practical, the use of glassine and storage folders, drawers, boxes, etc.

• Fixatives and considerations for their use

• Building and keeping a resume – what’s important and what’s not

One additional issue that I would like to see addressed is why galleries do or do not feature pastel paintings. With only a few exceptions, my observation is that pastels are rarely prominent or plentiful in galleries. I would like to know why this is and what can be done about it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

"Quiet Promise"

Pastel on Canson Touch, 14x10

In the early morning, the calm air and quiet waves give only a promise of the sea breeze that is to come - thus the title of the paining.

In the heat of the day, the wind and surf rise along with the temperature.  What I have tried to capture is the calm, quiet peacefulness of the beach before the day begins.  In those few moments, the colors are clear and the values are crisp.  Purple lingers in the shadows for a while before the blaze of the sun burns it away.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Thru the Sea Oats, III"

Pastel on Wallis, 9x6


This picture is a view from the top of the dunes at Cape San Blas State Park.  The blue of the water and the blazing white of the sand are always spectacular, and in the mid-summer, the sea oats add their greens and golds to the vista.

I have done this scene before, but doing it in pastels offers new opportunities, new pallet, and new challenges.